EU changes direction on EN ISO 13849-1

Update on EN ISO 13849-1 mandatory implementation date.

In a post on 15-Sep I reported that the European Union had decided to delay the mandatory implementation date of  EN ISO 13849-1 for an additional three years. This report was based on information obtained from an internal source at the European Commission and has since been reversed by that same source.

Mr. Glyn Garside provided the following update to this important story:

It has been widely reported, but never confirmed, that the EU commission had accepted the CEN proposal to extend the date of cessation of presumption of conformity of EN 954-1:1996 until the end of 2012. THESE REPORTS HAVE NOW BEEN AUTHORITATIVELY DENIED.

(By the way, this discussion of dates of cessation of presumption of conformity only affects the European standards, EN 954-1 and EN ISO 13849-1. International standard ISO 13849-1 is obviously controlled by ISO and not by CEN or the EU. The current edition of ISO 13849-1 is 2006, essentially identical to EN ISO 13849-1 : 2008.)

At this point the possibility of an extension of the transition from EN 954-1 to EN ISO 13849-1 remains controversial, confused and IMHO uncertain. (There’s been approx 3 years transition period already.) If I were still a manufacturer, I would not want to wait until Dec 29th to find out if I could still ship my product using EN 954-1!

The reports of an extension were based on an email sent earlier this month (3rd Sept) by a CEN employee. However, the EU Commission never confirmed the report, and on September 24th the same CEN employee, Marie Poidevin, has written,
> “We have been informed today by the European Commission […] that contrary to what was expressed in
> my previous message sent on the 3rd of September, EN 954-1 will not give presumption of conformity
>  to the new MD 2006/42/EC until further notice.
> “Indeed, due to discussions following the announcement made below, the EC wishes to gather experts’
> views and, therefore, this issue will be discussed at the next Machinery Working group to be held on
> the 7-8th December.”

A related email from Ian Fraser (“EC Policy Director for the Machinery Directive”), dated 2009-09-18 states,
“Following the discussion at the meeting of the Machinery Working Group held on 7 and 8
July 2009, we have received a number of questions concerning the transition from standard
EN 954-1 to standard EN ISO 13849-1 on safety-related parts of control systems.
At the meeting of the Machinery Working Group, there was general agreement on two
1. Manufacturers who apply standard EN ISO 13849-1 benefit from a presumption of
conformity, even if the harmonised C-type standard relating to the machinery concerned still
refers to the categories of EN 954-1;
2. Harmonised C-type standards that refer to the categories of EN 954-1 continue to confer a
presumption of conformity until they are amended to refer to standard EN ISO 13849-1.
These conclusions will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

During the discussion, several participants indicated that more time was needed for the
industry, and in particular for SMEs, to adapt to the new standard. As Chairman of the
meeting, I asked whether it might not be preferable to postpone the date of cessation of
presumption of conformity for EN 954-1.
In response to this suggestion, on 30 July 2009, Mr. Steiger wrote to the Commission, on
behalf of the CEN Machinery Sector, to request that the date of cessation of presumption of
conformity for EN 954-1 be exceptionally postponed until 31 December 2012 […].
The Commission will reply to this request from CEN. However, given the complexity of the
issues involved, the Commission intends to consult experts and to seek the opinion of the
Machinery Working Group to be held on 7 and 8 December 2009, before reaching a final
Kind regards,

Thanks again to Glyn Garside and the EMC-PSTC List Server!